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Commercial Beekeeping - Frequently Asked Questions

Q. When does the program start and how long does it run?

The Commercial Beekeeping program is designed on the cycles of nature, specifically pertaining to bees and pollination. The full program is 9 months in duration. Students can choose to enroll in the full program or individual sessions. The program is delivered in face-to-face, live and in person with our experienced instructor. There is no online component to the program.

The program begins in February with Session 1, with classroom theory and hands-on practical learning at the Honeybee Centre at 7480 176 Street, Surrey.   In May, the program shifts to real-world application as a paid practicum working bee hives in British Columbia, Alberta or Saskatchewan. There is also an  option for an unpaid local practicum for those who are unable to relocate.

In Session 2, students return to the classroom to integrate their knowledge and field experience and learn about the business of beekeeping. This session, taken on its own, is also appropriate for existing beekeeping hobbyists who want to learn the business of beekeeping by creating their own personalized business plan and learn about marketing honey and value-added apitherapy products. The highlight of Session 2 is a field trip to prominent commercial apiaries and the Annual General Meeting of Canadian Commercial Beekeepers (fees included in tuition).

Q. What are the Program dates for 2019?

Students have the choice to take one or both sessions for 2019:

  • Session 1 – Full program: February 4 – November 22, 2019
  • Session 1 only: February 4 – September 20, 2019
  • Session 2 only: September 30 to November 22, 2019

Program details:

  • Session 1: Theory and Practice of Apiculture
    • Feb 4 – May 10 (14 weeks)
    • Spring break - March 16-24
      • Classes are Monday to Friday, 9:00 am - 4:30 pm
      • Room 1854, KPU Tech, 5500 180th Street, Surrey, V3S 6R1
  • Session 1: Work Term:
    • May 13 – September 20 (19 weeks) Option 1: Full-time paid work term:
      • KPU has a list of beekeepers who will hire our beekeeping students; students are matched with the best employer based on their skills, availability and interests and the employer’s needs.
      • Beekeepers are situated in British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan. For those working with an out-of-town beekeeper, accommodations are provided living in approved foreign-worker accommodations. Most employers cover the cost of rent for the students, but on rare occasions, rent is minimal (ex: $150/month). Employers usually help cover the cost of transportation to their apiary.
    • Option 2: Part-time paid work term – Honeybee Centre in Surrey:
      • This is ideal for those who cannot relocate for the work term. Students work the KPU hives 1 day per week at the Honeybee Centre. This option is unpaid.
  • Session 2: Principles of Bee Business Management
    • September 30 - November 22 (8 weeks)
      • Classes are Monday to Friday, 9:00 am - 4:30 pm
      • Room 1854, KPU Tech, 5500 180th Street, Surrey, V3S 6R1
      • Field Trip, October 28 to November 8, 2019, to prominent commercial apiaries and the Annual General Meeting of Alberta Beekeeper’s Commission. The costs for the field trip are included in tuition fees.

Q. How do I get more information to determine if this is right for me?

There are two information sessions per month at the Honeybee Centre at 7480 176 Street, Surrey. Potential students are encouraged to attend. There is no cost to attend, however registration is required.

Please register at www.kpu.ca/cps/commercial-beekeeping/info-session 

Important Program criteria:

  • This program is taught in English. Students should have sufficient English reading, writing, speaking and comprehension abilities in order to gain the most from the program.
    Note: For the Commercial Beekeeping work term, placements are available in English, Spanish and Tagalog.
  • Full boxes of honey can weigh up to 40 kg (88 lbs). Students should have a strong back and hands and be physically capable of lifting this much weight if his/her intention is to work in a bee yard.
    Students who are not physically capable may not be able to find a Session 2 practicum employer.
  • Students must be able to drive or find transportation to classes, as well to and from bee yards.
  • A certificate of completion will only be issued to students who are able to commit to the full 9- month program.
  • Students should not be afraid of bees or allergic to bee venom.

Q. How much does the program cost?

Program Options Domestic Tuition International Tuition
BEES CFTE C10 CRN 60001
Full Program - Feb 4-Nov 22
$11,990 + GST = $12.589.50 $17,499 + GST = $18,373.95
BEES CFTE C11 CRN 60002
Session 1 only - Feb 4-Sep 20
$9,799 + GST = $10,288.95 $13,499 + GST = $14,173.95
BEES CFTE C13 CRN 60003
Session 2 only - Sept 30-Nov 22
$3,999 + GST = $4,198.95 $3,999 + GST = $4,198.95
(NOTE: Not eligible for study visa)

Q. Are there financing considerations, financing or student loans?

  • Students should be aware that the summer practicum in BC, Alberta or Saskatchewan is a paid work term. Students who are physically fit, and willing to work, can expect to make up to $20,000 during this work term. The amount you earn will depend on a student’s ability, motivation and placement. The course instructor arranges for the work placement based on a student’s abilities and availability and the work placements available.
  • A payment plan for the program is available, split into 3 equal payments, payable prior to the start of the program. Please contact the Program Coordinator for more information.
  • Students may apply for grants and scholarships available for this program. Please see  www.kpu.ca/bees for details. The program does not qualify under the student loan program.

Q. How do I register?

  1. Go to the www.kpu.ca/commercial-beekeeping website and submit an application for the program
  2. Choose your program option (see above)
  3. Pay the $1,000 commitment fee online at  https://flexreg.kpu.ca/flexibleregistration/index.jsp?frc=PSMAST.

The CPS Program Coordinator will be in touch with you to arrange payment of the balance of fees.

International students are to register by paying the $1,000 commitment fee online. The balance of tuition is due once they receive their study visa, which should be no later than January 1st, 2019.

Credit card payments beyond the commitment fee are accepted by calling the KPU’s Continuing and Professional Studies (CPS) at 604-599-2020. For other methods of payment see:  www.kpu.ca/registration/howtopay. (For information about wire transfers, please see International students section below.)

Q. What is your refund policy?

  • Students who accept a seat in this program are responsible for the full, non-refundable tuition costs.
  • The beekeeping program is a cohort program with a limited intake of students. This means that we actively recruit and register students for the start of the program and have no opportunity to admit new students during the program. Therefore, there are no refunds if a student withdraws from the program.
  • International students who are denied a study visa are eligible for a refund, less a $1,000 administration fee.

Students who have paid their tuition and need to defer their studies need to contact KPU’s CPS Department to discuss options for future intakes.

Q.    Are there breaks during this Program for 2019?

There two breaks during the program:

  • Saturday, March 16 to Sunday, March 24, 2019.
  • Saturday, September 21 to Sunday, September 29th, 2019.

Q. Is parking available at the KPU Tech campus?

Students may purchase a parking pass online at http://www.kpu.ca/parking-transit/permits. You will need to pay for parking for Session 1 and Session 3 of the Program.

Q. Are scholarships or financial aid available for this program?

Q. Am I eligible for the Multi-Pass and Campus Card Programs?

Students in Continuing and Professional Studies Programs do not pay university fees and Kwantlen Student Association fees. These fees, which are assessed by credit and semester for credit programs total over $450 per semester, including Multi-Pass. Since students in Commercial Beekeeping are exempt from these fees, the Multi-Pass and Compass Cards are not available.

Students may sign out books at the Library with their student ID card, which is available at the Library. In addition, students may use the services of the KSA inter-campus shuttle using their student card.

Q. What should I know as an International student?

1. Payment of Fees – Wire Transfer

Royal Bank of Canada
157 120th Street Delta, BC
V4E 2A9
Account Number: 1027564
Swift Code: ROYCCAT2
Transit Number: 02810
Financial Institution Number: 0003

For other methods of payment see: www.kpu.ca/registration/howtopay.

To enroll, students pay the non-refundable $1,000 commitment fee online at  https://flexreg.kpu.ca/flexibleregistration/index.jsp?frc=PSMAST. The balance of tuition should be paid prior to the start of the program, once they receive their study visa.

For additional assistance, contact Accounts Receivable at accounts.receivable@kpu.ca or call at +1- 604-599-2242, +1-604-599-2069 or +1-604-599-2057.

2. Applying for your Study Visa

All international students are required by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to have a valid study permit while attending KPU. A study permit is a Canadian Immigration document that is issued to allow you to study in Canada for a specified amount of time. For more information on obtaining a study permit, please carefully review: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/study/index.asp.

For more information on IRCC’s study permit: http://www.kpu.ca/international/study-work-permit.

All questions related to admission for admission, study ad work permits to Canada should be referred to KPU’s International office at international@kpu.ca

Accommodation information
http://www.kpu.ca/international/accommodations

3. Medical Insurance
As a new international student, you will be enrolled in this mandatory temporary insurance for your first semester. Once you receive your MSP card, you can opt out. There is a flat rate of $201 for each academic semester.

It is the student’s responsibility to apply for MSP as soon as possible. This insurance is only intended to cover your first three to four months in Canada.
More info: http://www.kpu.ca/international/insurance.

4. Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP)
The Commercial Beekeeping Program does not qualify for the Post-Graduation Study permit.

Q. What are the types of jobs available in this profession and how much to they pay?

You can earn approximately $16.00 per hour working for another beekeeper. If you choose to have your own operation, your income will depend on the number of colonies you have and products you sell. See below for further information.

Q. How much can I make operating my own bee hives?

The KPU program teaches a 300 colony operation. A 300 colony operation produces approximately $150,000 in revenue with profits (not including labour) in the region of $100,000. You can also generate income from value-added products such as Bee Pollen, Propolis, Bees Wax, Royal Jelly and Apitherapy.

Q. Are there textbooks for this Program?

Yes. The Beekeeping in Western Canada textbook is required for the program. It is available to purchase from the KPU Bookstore. The current cost of this textbook is $25.00 plus tax (subject to change).

Q.    Are there additional supplies required?

Students must have the following items at the start of class:

  1. Bee Suit
  2. Smoker
  3. Hive tool
  4. Brush

These items will be provided prior to the start of the program at an additional cost of approximately $200. The CPS Program Coordinator will be in touch with you to make the necessary arrangements.

Q. How much time should I anticipate spending on the Program outside class time?

There are several take-home assignments that may require up to 2 hours per week outside class time.

Q. What grading is used for these courses and what will I get when I finish?

KPU has designated certain courses as Mastery courses. These courses demand a clearly defined high standard of performance, in which the student must demonstrate mastery of all knowledge and/or performance requirements.  Because of the nature of this grading system, credits earned in this type of course will not be used in calculating the grade point average.

MAS = Mastery. Student has mastered a clearly defined body of skills and performances to required standards. Mastery is achieved with 65% overall average as well as 50% in all individual disciplines of the program.

NCG = No Credit Granted. Student has not met the required standard for the course and/or has not participated to the required level in course activities.

Upon successfully achieving mastery in a course you will be awarded a “Recognition of Achievement” document for your records. MAS or NCG will be applied to your transcript accordingly.